The Bobbies are always watching
Moments after the explosion, several Londoners thought it might be another terrorist attack. The morning rush-hour had ended, but the streets of Britain's capital city are always busy during daylight hours. It was not a terrorist attack - it was an act of vandalism. Somebody had blown up one of the UK traffic cameras mounted on a pole.
London police investigated and within a few hours Bobbies were dispatched to the residence of Travis Frainworthy (not his real name). Poor old Travis was shackled, taken to the magistrate, and charged with willful destruction of public property. Additional charges may be pending.
According to Reuters news service, there are more than 4,000 traffic cameras mounted on poles around Britain in order to identify speeders and red light runners. Many Brits say they resent the intrusion of cameras at select intersections. Some motorists have retaliated by using paint brushes or even axes on the traffic cameras. Until the Frainworthy incident, none had used an explosive device.
Defenders of the traffic safety program say Britain's traffic cameras are painted bright yellow and are readily visible to motorists - unlike traffic cameras used on the European continent where cameras are hidden, in some cases disguised, so the motoring public will be unaware of their presence.
Still, British authorities claim violence against traffic cameras has reached epidemic proportions even though 70 percent of UK motorists support the program.
You may be wondering how the Bobbies caught Frainworthy so quickly if he blew up the camera that caught him speeding? Would not the evidence against him have been destroyed? Not necessarily. These devices are extremely well made, on the order of the legendary black boxes that are mounted aboard passenger airliners.
While the traffic camera was indeed destroyed by the explosion, the box containing the film was hardly damaged. Safely tucked inside the box was the film that captured both Frainworthy's traffic miscue and his approach to the camera box with bomb materials in hand.